Drawing The Tiger Directed
Amy Benson, Scott Squire & Ramyata Limbu USA / 2015 / 97 minutes New York Premiere
In Nepali with English subtitles
Times and Venues:
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Julie Bridgham (Saturday Only)
In rural Nepal, where each day is a work-filled struggle to survive, young Shanta Darnal is her family's hope for something better. When Shanta is awarded a scholarship to attend school in the city, they envision circumstances changing. And so they do, but in a way neither the family nor the filmmakers, who spent seven years filming, could have anticipated. Drawing the Tiger is an unflinchingly real and almost unbearably touching portrait of an impoverished family and a young girl faced with an enormous responsibility. In their first feature-length production, Amy Benson and Scott Squire exhibit an amazing commitment to telling the story of a family and a culture, even when, as can happen with a documentary, happenstance takes the story in a unplanned direction. The exquisite cinematography, whether in the majestic yet desolate village or the chaotic, bleak city, perceptively complements this compelling and poignant story of an impossible situation that goes from bad to worse when it was only supposed to get better. - Ben F. Fischer
BIO: Amy Benson left her career as a middle school teacher of girls to become a documentary filmmaker. She co-owns (with her husband, Scott Squire), Nonfiction Media, a production company based in Seattle. She has shot and edited over 30 short films telling the stories of non profits in North America, Africa and Asia. Her first personal documentary short, Three: Impressions From The Struggle For Girls' Education, was the centerpiece of the UNIFEM Singapore film festival. Another short, Called to Shine, about Clarksdale, Mississippi's only female preacher, premiered at the Langston Hughes film festival. Her very first short about life in a local homeless encampment won awards from SIFF and The Seattle Times. Drawing the Tiger, a Sundance Institute and Fork Films granted project, is her first feature film. It premiered at Hot Docs in April 2015.
Scott Squire is a lifelong photographer with a masters in journalism (UC Berkeley). His work on homeless children living in Bucharest earned him the Dorothea Lange Fellowship and the Susan Meiselas Fellowship from UC Berkeley. Scott's photo essay on Cairo street cafe culture was featured on PBS's Frontline World website. His first book, Edges of Bounty (2009, Heyday Press), is a fine art documentary photo essay on small scale, independent food production in the Central Valley of California. He is the co-owner in NonFiction Media with his wife, Amy Benson. Drawing the Tiger is his first feature film.
Nepali native Ramyata Limbu co-produced and shot the documentary Dreams Of Chomolungma for PBS's Frontline World, and co-produced and shot the award-winning feature documentary Daughters Of Everest. For six years, she was a producer for Young Asia Television, producing programs focusing on social issues in Nepal. Ramyata is the also the Director of the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, and currently working as a correspondent for Al Jazeera. Her most recent feature documentary work is co-producing Sari Soldiers, a Sundance Institute granted film about female soldiers on both sides of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. Currently, she has been covering stories of people and places hardest hit by the 2015 earthquake.
Executive Producer(s): Karol Martesko-Fenster, Julie Bridgham
Producer(s): Amy Benson & Scott Squire
Director(s): Amy Benson, Scott Squire & Ramyata Limbu
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